Nafees Khan, “The Presentation of the Atlantic Slave Trade in U.S. and Brazilian School Textbooks”

Posted on February 19, 2016

Article courtesy of the Avery Research Center

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was the largest forced migration in human history and is critical to understanding the complexity of the history of slavery and indeed the history of the Atlantic world. This enterprise, based on racism, violence, and greed was responsible for the dispersal of millions of enslaved Africans throughout the Americas.

The legacies of the trade, including poverty and racism among others, have remained controversial and salient throughout many national contexts. Unfortunately, the slave trade often only receives limited coverage in either school curricula or in public memory, inhibiting students’ understanding of this centuries long episode in history. As a result, the global scale of the trade is not readily understood. In this presentation, Dr. Nafees Khan

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addressed the problems with limiting the discussion on the slave trade in U.S. and Brazilian school textbooks, which misleads students and teachers on the patterns and scale of this global trade in humans. As one of history’s great injustices, the topic of slavery remains an enduring and controversial issue with legacies that transcend many contemporary concerns that include, but are not limited to race, class, gender, and identity.